However, he was on an embarrassing Los Angeles Lakers squad this season that dramatically underperformed. The roster was flawed from the beginning, and James’ teammates failed to play up to the level he was performing at every game.
Despite having title aspirations before the year started, LA finished 33-49 and missed the NBA Play-In Tournament. The organization then followed that up by firing head coach Frank Vogel on April 11.
So, what is James saying now after the most disappointing season (from a team perspective) in his career?
He’s still hungry for championships.
LeBron James still wants to win titles with the Los Angeles Lakers
It’s hard to believe it was less than two years ago when LeBron James won his fourth championship, capping off a magical – yet difficult – 2020 season with the Lakers.
However, despite not even making the playoffs this year, James still has high expectations for his team moving forward.
“I came here to win a championship, and I want to win more,” James said of how he looks at this stage of his career during his recent exit interview, per the Lakers’ YouTube. “So, I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, but I’m still hungry for more. And I’m confident that this organization wants the same. It’s what this organization has always been about.”
He continued: “When I signed here … I told them that I want to help this franchise become a champion once again. So, I’ve done that; we’ve done that. But I want to do it again.”
It’s clear James doesn’t see his Lakers tenure as a failure, but he isn’t satisfied unless he is competing for championships.
So, his comment just adds more pressure to LA’s critical offseason.
The Lakers need to make a lot of changes to help LeBron James
LeBron James has just one year left on his contract. That means the Lakers need to go all-in this offseason to try to win another title with The King; he made it clear that’s what he wants to do.
But what moves can they make?
They already parted ways with Frank Vogel. However, that won’t affect this team too drastically.
LA needs to make roster changes.
It must go younger, and it has to add more shooters.
When James won his 2016 championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Cavs were second in the NBA in total three-pointers and third in attempts. They also ranked seventh in three-point field-goal percentage.
The Lakers, on the other hand, were in the bottom half of the league in all those categories this year.
The first thing they can do to address this is to find a trade partner for Russell Westbrook. While Russ is a great player, his jumper is atrocious, which made his fit next to James awkward from the beginning. So, either trading him for shooters or more flexibility to add a few would be huge but difficult to pull off, given his $47 million player option for next season.
They can also start looking at pending free agents or try to find other trade scenarios.
The Lakers simply have a lot of work to do. But they need to make as many moves as possible to help LeBron James compete for championships again.
Who knows, he could take his talents elsewhere if they don’t.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference